Hurt & Faith

The friend at the end of my rope

There are a million trails to take with this blog . . . it’s been a 20 year journey: through migraines, through addiction, through healing.

Yesterday, as I prayed and pondered what might be most helpful right now, I opened my journal from the year I’ve been writing about.

We’d moved to Washington in the summer of 2002. We were a thousand miles from my family and my closest friends.

So many things had happened. It was difficult even to open my mouth and explain to anyone over the phone.

The extent of our troubles had stayed between me and God and Dave.

But in the spring of 2004, life started to unravel fast. Dave lost his job (he wasn’t meeting sales quotas). He’d failed another quarter of seminary. He hadn’t been paying bills . . .

I had caught Dave in so many lies. And we had no money.

I couldn’t leave, even if I’d wanted to.

I recall sitting in the corner of my daughter’s room in a patch of warm sunlight, crying until I had nothing left. Nothing inside me but deep, deep sorrow.

As I read my journal, I was amazed at the dates. It’s now seven years to the day since the first time I got to the end of my rope:

June 4, 2004

I could hardly go on with life yesterday and I cried out to God about who I should talk to. I prayed, as I cried and washed the dishes.

I was barely done praying and Laura called.

I was still crying and told her about my prayer and she came right over. . . .

I was really encouraged by talking with Laura. She agreed that Dave needs a chemical dependency program. She even helped me call and told me what to say to the kids and our parents, etc.

I told Dave the plan when he got home. I told him he had been given a window by God, and by His grace we’d make it. . . . But he has to get help — his addiction is so much bigger than he is. I have got to believe that. But like Laura said, God can heal him — he healed her!

Help me to be strong, Lord. Actually, just be my strength. Please give Dave hope . . . and help me to be resolved Lord and not let him back out or talk his way out of detox.

“We have a God who delights in impossibilities.” [Andrew Murray] Make this impossibility possible, Lord! Amen.

It’s a little hard to read this entry in my journal. My friend Laura had just been through a life and death battle with breast cancer and though she was still recovering, she was finally cancer free. Her hair hadn’t even grown all the way back in.

I am still so stunned that she called me when she did — it was such an instantaneous answer to prayer.  We didn’t usually talk on the phone, just at church a few times a week.

But I was always convinced Laura had a special connection to God . . . 

* * * * *

I wish I’d gone to Laura’s funeral.

(Cancer came back with a vengeance.)

But I was in a different struggle then. In the fall of 2009, I was coming to the end of the years I was mad at God.